If OSEG Got City Bucks, Why Not Melnyk? Reader

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Your agent thinks that the wily Sheridan is trying to cause trouble.

He speaks below:

A basic problem with this situation is that the public and media do not have all the facts.

From what I remember reading, the federal Conservatives approached Melnyk with the idea for a Parliament Hill game, with an attendance model of 6,000. I believe that Melnyk was agreeable to that idea. But then, we had a change of government with the Liberals. What has been their attitude?

And then, added to this mix is the NHL top brass, which has the ultimate say in whether, and where, a game takes place. Was the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman demanding that any outdoor game require a certain level of attendance, say 30,000? Does Bettman really care about where the Heritage Classic is played (e.g. Ottawa or Montreal), as long as the League gets paid? These outdoor games are cash cows for the NHL, and do not enrich the host team.

A game on Parliament Hill would have been unique. One at TD Place would be just like any other stadium game in the NHL. So why the media hysteria? If you want to celebrate hockey in the Nation’s Capital, in 2017, then attend a Sens game at the CTC, especially a match against another Canadian NHL team. At the CTC you can enjoy a hockey game without having to worry about getting frostbite or missing plays because the puck is impossible to see from the football stands.

Yes, we have NHL hockey in Ottawa thanks to Eugene Melnyk. Support his team and the future security of that team, planning to move to the LeBreton Flats.

That brings me to the discussion of the Sens proposed new downtown (LeBreton Flats) arena, namely: how much money is the city willing to pay for its construction? We know how much money the city has paid for the construction and renovation of TD Place, so will the same happen for the Sens new arena? LeBreton Flats is going to be a mix of sport, commercial and residential buildings, similar to Lansdowne. So what is Mayor Jim Watson’s argument for denying Rendez-Vous Lebreton any city funding?

Sue Sherring is all for dictating to Melnyk how he must deliver an outdoor game at TD Place. But where does Sherring stand on city funding for the Sens new arena?

Lastly, Sue Sherring would be better off writing about why the city is spending $6-million on Ottawa 2017 parties instead of some lasting legacy project (like the renovation of the Prince of Wales Bridge). Again, this 150th celebration is supposed to be about Canada (Confederation), and therefore it should not be focused on: Ottawa 2017; Watson 2017; or Lansdowne 2017.

To get The Bulldog’s take on the Sherring column, click here.

 


 

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10 thoughts on “If OSEG Got City Bucks, Why Not Melnyk? Reader

  1. The city stands to benefit at least as much from the LeBreton arena as from the Lansdowne development. It would be interesting to see the response to a request from Melnyk for an OSEG-style deal. Maybe Watson’s just waiting for the right moment to announce it as the real Ottawa 2017 legacy project?

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  2. Melynk hasn’t asked for city funding for his LeBreton Flats proposal. The very high density of housing and commerce on the site is designed to help cross-subsidize the cost of putting in the hockey arena and as such hopefully negates the requirement for the city to subsidize the rink. The city can’t deny something that hasn’t been asked for or hopefully is not needed.

    As well, in the case of Lansdowne, OSEG was able to build an instant constituency for government funding by promising to bring back football. This strategy is harder for Melnyk in that the hockey team is already here and doesn’t have to be brought back. If Melnyk did ultimately seek city subsidies for the rink, hopefully the density of development would be lowered to compensate for the lower requirement for cross-subsidization of the rink by commercial development.

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      1. Lorne Cutler,

        I know that Eugene Melnyk hasn’t asked for city funding for a new NHL arena. That is my point, namely that the Sens have not cost the city any money (not Bruce Firestone; Rod Bryden or Eugene Melnyk). And yet, if Melnyk fails to deliver something like an outdoor hockey game, then he is quickly labelled a villain. By contrast, when OSEG came to the city with their $23-million roof repair bill, they expected the city to renegotiate their deal and help pay for this cost. Where was the media backlash for that?

        I don’t want to revisit the whole Lansdowne issue, but I would qualify your comment about “government funding” for the Lansdowne Live project, because that meant only “city funding.” Recall that a P3 disqualified the Lansdowne stadium project from federal and provincial funding; unlike, for example, Hamilton’s stadium, which was not a P3 project. This was one of the reasons why Melnyk’s stadium proposal was so appealing, namely that it would apply for fed and provincial funding. Melnyk also pledged $10-million of his own money towards the stadium construction. Further, a stadium move from Lansdowne would have enabled the city to sell (or lease) that Lansdowne land, which revenue would have aided in funding the new stadium. Lastly, this would be a completely new stadium, and not a mix of new and old construction.

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        1. Sheridan:

          I think at one time … I don’t know if it continues today … the Senators received a property-tax break.

          cheers

          kgray

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            1. Ken,

              In case you wanted to argue about the infrastructure (i.e. paid for by the taxpayer) in and around the CTC, (e.g. I believe that the 417-overpass was paid for by the province, after Eugene Melnyk bought the Sens out of bankruptcy), then it would only be fair to make infrastructure (i.e. paid for by the taxpayer) comparisons with Lansdowne. For example, the cost of: relocating the convention centre; moving and restoring the Horticulture Building; remediation of the soil; underground parking; etc. Even the proposed $17.5-million Clegg-Fifth pedestrian bridge should be included, as it is principally aimed to service Lansdowne.

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